Operating and Financial Report for 2018

  • 14 November 2018

The Federal Executive is pleased to present the Operating and Financial Report for 2018 which sets out the principal activities of our Federal Union during the year. 

Our Union continued its work with PSI affiliates in changing the public narrative around privatisation through concluding the People’s Inquiry into Privatisation project with the launch of the inquiry report titled Taking Back Control in October 2017.  Speakers at the launch event included David Hetherington, Chair of the inquiry, Ged Kearney, then President of the ACTU, and John Falzon, CEO of St Vincent de Paul.  Our Union commenced working with PSI affiliates on contributing to a research project into corporate tax avoidance focusing
on key labour hire companies that have contracts with state and federal government. This work will be ongoing into the next financial year.  Our Union commissioned a short research report into mechanisms to increase the revenue from the Commonwealth to the
States to fund state public services. The results of this report were successfully incorporated into the ACTU’s tax policy.  Our Union continued to develop member networks among our branches in key sectors such as prisons, child protection, schools, and young workers. This work included facilitating a face-to-face planning meeting for Child Protection, incorporating a one day planning meeting for Young Workers with the 2017 Federal Council meeting, and planning joint activities for National Child Protection Week and School Support Staff Week.

A large part of the work of the Federal Office has been assisting Branches with a myriad of obligations, case work and advice ranging from liaising with the FWC on Right of Entry permit obligations.  Development continued for 3 branches on the new upgraded membership data base due to go live in late November 2017.  Rule change cases were also undertaken for a number of Branches who sought to follow their members after a decision by a state Government to privatise parts of that states public service.  Assistance was also provided for national bargaining endeavours, particularly for entities created by COAG such as National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and the National Rail Safety Regulator which necessitated a complex process of bringing all the separate jurisdictions of state regulation into the federal sphere, standardising the conditions to be Fair Work compliant and to then develop on single enterprise agreement.  A number of presentations have been made during the year to respective branch membership forums across Australia.

During the operating year the union made national submissions to the Productivity Commission’s NDIS Cost’s Inquiry and supporting submissions to the various parliamentary inquiries into the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (the CPTPP / TPP11).

Ongoing participation in a range of ACTU committees, including ACTU Executive, Growth and Campaigns, Women’s Committee, Youth Committee, Tax Committee, Trade Committee, International Committee, and Industrial and Legal Committee.  The Union continued its deep involvement in the ACTU’s “Change the Rules” project by giving expert advice and advocacy concerning proposals to change the Federal statutory labour law in Australia.  Our Union made a significant contribution to the ACTU policy process in the lead up to the triennial ACTU Congress in July 2018, advocating our members’ interests in policy areas including jobs, privatisation, trade, tax, and workers’ capital.  Our union also made a major contribution to the ACTU taskforce 3. Taskforce 3 was an expert committee tasked with the design of a gold standard regime of Federal labour law. A number of the elements that became the IR policy of the ACTU were suggested and advocated for by the CPSU

During the period of this operating report the Federal Office of the Union made a series of changes to the CPSU (SPSF) governance rules to ensure they are expressed clearly, in plain English and to make the rules compliant with the latest changes to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009.

The Union has been involved in an ongoing project to improve the governance of the Federal Union. This has included

• amending the governance policies to take into account changes to the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act

• commencing a project of reforming the eligibility rule of the Group in Chapter A to remove duplication, introduce plain English, and to make it easier to navigate and understand

CPSU SPSF Federal Office continued to work collaboratively with the Public Service International (PSI), our Global Union Federation (GUF). In October2017 we sent a delegation to the PSI World Congress in Geneva. At the World Congress PSI committed to a new constitution and a programme of action for the next five years which includes working on issues such as privatisation, free trade agreements, and collaborating on sectoral issues. In May 2018 we sent a delegation to the PSI OSRAC (Oceania Sub-Regional Advisory Committee) in Sydney where it was confirmed that Oceania Youth Titular, CPSU’s Clare Middleman, was elected to the Asia-Pacific Regional Executive Committee and as a result, will sit on PSI’s global Executive Board. Clare attended the Asia Pacific Regional Executive Committee meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal in June 2018 on behalf of PSI.